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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Reason Does Not Inspire Morality

Pure reason is not practical—this means that a system of morality based on rational principles will not find adherents. Reason might lead to material progress, but it will never lead to moral progress; a man of reason is often as nihilistic as a man lacking in reason. To inspire people to be moral, incentives other than reason are required but the nature of these incentives is not clear—is it mythology, religion, good genes, good upbringing, awareness of an illustrious intellectual and political tradition, political liberty, or is it something else? In his book God, Man and History, Eliezer Berkovits writes, “The evil done by the power that knowledge provides, has always eclipsed the good done by the same power. Notwithstanding enlightenment, man seems to remain an essentially unethical being.”

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